The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will revisit its rules around fireworks after receiving complaints from the community after Halloween.

Cobble Hill director Mike Wilson told the board at its meeting on Nov. 25 that he’s been receiving significant feedback and complaints recently from residents about the noise from fireworks, and its impacts on people, as well as livestock and pets.

He said he had a discussion with Cowichan Tribes councillor Debra Toporowski about the possibility of approaching the manufacturers of fireworks to see if they would lower their explosive force, or make them more quiet, to deal with the community’s concerns.

RELATED STORY: HALLOWEEN FIREWORKS DISPLAYS IN COWICHAN REQUIRE A PERMIT

“Maybe that can still have the same sparkles without the big bangs,” Wilson said.

“I’m hoping we can come up with some sort of agreement that would have less of an impact on humans and animals.”

Lori Iannidinardo, director for Cowichan Bay, said this is not the first time the issue has come before the board.

She said the fact that it has returned to the table was years in the making.

“We worked with the Cowichan Tribes on this issue before and it benefited both of us, and we still want to work with them on it,” Iannidinardo said

“The issue is detrimental not just to the health of domestic animals, but wild ones as well. There’s also the health impacts of the stuff that comes from the fireworks. We had this under control, but now it’s out of control again, and it’s good that we’re looking at this.”

Fireworks are only allowed with a permit twice a year, Halloween and New Year’s Eve, within the CVRD, unless special permission is granted.

Also, according the district’s bylaws, no one is allowed to sell fireworks within the district and it’s not permitted to discharge them within 500 metres of a livestock property.

RELATED STORY: POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS IN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY OF FIREWORKS STAND IN SHAWNIGAN

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring told the board that the elephant in the room is the fact that while the CVRD can regulate the discharge and sale of fireworks within the district, it has no jurisdiction outside the CVRD’s boundaries.

He said that while Cowichan Tribes no longer sell fireworks on their lands, members of the Halalt First Nation continue to do so.

Siebring said even if the First Nation members stopped selling fireworks, then other people would step in to do it.

“We can all see the signs on the highway,” Siebring said.

“Short of finding ways to compensate them for their loss of revenue, and I’m not suggesting we do that, I really wonder how much difference tightening up our regulations is going to make. I’m not optimistic we’ll get the results we want. I wonder if the issue should be brought to a higher level [of government].”

Board Chairman Aaron Stone, who is also the mayor of Ladysmith, acknowledged that dealing with the issue faces challenges.

He said it’s easy to just go online and buy fireworks these days as well.

“We’re never going to be able to get rid of the sales of fireworks,” Stone said.

“One option is for us to take on a more advisory role on the issue, and tighten up sales and regulations where we can. I’m looking forward to the staff coming back with recommendations.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Interview with Oceanside RCMP operational support NCO Cpl. Jesse Foreman

Podcast: Talk includes policing, commercial fishing, COVID-19, Tour de Rock and more

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

(File photo)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed in School District 69 (Qualicum)

Individual was at PASS/Woodwinds, with a last date of attendance of Jan. 22

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms first death from COVID-19

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Christopher Anthony Craig Dick is wanted by the Port Alberni RCMP in connection to multiple investigations. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Vancouver Island RCMP seek man connected to assault investigations

Christopher Dick, 36, was recently in the North Cowichan and Duncan region

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Members of the Saanich Fire Department can be seen working to put out a fire in the 4500-block of Chattertown Way on Jan. 26. (Saanich Fire/Twitter)
One cat killed, another resuscitated following blaze in Saanich townhouse

Neighbours evacuated following fire on Chatterton Way, third cat still missing

Most Read